Junior School News

Girls’ Junior School Update

This term we have all managed to get back into the swing of remote learning and are working hard to connect with all students to ensure they are feeling both supported and comfortable.

Many thanks to the parents for your support this term, from coming in to collect your daughter’s items, to helping them with learning tasks and of course taking on the role of IT support at the same time! We understand that this is challenging and we greatly appreciate your assistance.

During these times, it is important that just as we are focusing on our girls well-being, parents too need to take time to check in with each other and look after themselves as well. Below is an app I have recently discovered which might be a good support for adults looking to promote greater well-being in their life.

Andrew Fuller Webinar – helping young people through anxiety, sadness and trauma. 

Andrew Fuller is a clinical psychologist, family therapist, author, speaker and creator of Learning Strengths ™. Andrew works with many schools and communities in Australia and internationally, specialising in the wellbeing of young people and their families.

This webinar is being held on Tuesday 4 August, 2020 at 7pm.

Topics covered will include:
– How to manage a bad day
– Understanding how parents can help kids who worry
– How to manage stress and exams
– What to do when they are sad and when to be concerned if it is something more
– Understanding trauma and how to overcome it,
– Using your Learning Strengths for success

Register here

 

This term there will also be a weekly challenge for girls on the portal page as a way of building community connection. Please encourage your daughter to join in!

 

 

 

Boys and Movement 

At our Staff meeting on Thursday afternoon we discussed our boys’ online learning in the context of what we know about boys;

  • Boys much prefer to learn by experience, through kinaesthetic experience; they tap pencils and throw, practice handstands, wriggle on chairs….I once heard someone say, “Watch how boys put rubbish in the bin…they throw it, dunk it, rebound it…”
  • Boys are wired to move. Insisting that boys sit still during school work can actually increase the amount of time it takes to complete the work and decrease the amount of learning that occurs.
  • According to author Michael Gurian, males process more blood flow through the cerebellum, the ‘doing’ part of the brain, than females do. This biological difference may explain why boys and men are much more likely than girls and women to attach learning to movement. For boys, learning and motion go together; a boy is more likely to remember something if that information is linked to a specific movement.
  • Moving helps boys’ brains stay alert
  • Male brains drop into rest states more often than female brains. In fact, the typical wiggling and squirming you see in many classrooms (or whenever boys are asked to sit still and pay attention for a period of time) is actually boys’ attempt at keeping their brains alert and engaged.
  • Boys’ motor skills mature sooner than their language skills
  • The part of the brain that controls language matures, on average, 6 years later in boys than it does in girls. Meanwhile, boys’ gross motor skills mature before their fine motor skills. So when it comes to reading and writing, boys may benefit from learning, exploring and building literacy skills through more hands-on, physical activities.

Boys are highly capable learners and instead of suppressing their desire to move, we need to encourage them to move as needed while learning. 

This is why we have our daily, timetabled Energy Plus sessions, Brain Food sesisons and accept and promote movement between classes and during lessons in our ‘normal’ world.

So….Online Learning can provide challenges for boys, especially during Assemblies, or the introduction to tasks, or pastoral sessions where the connection for our boys with each other, and staff, is critical…for as Stephen Biddulph says, “Boys Learn Teachers, Girls Learn Subjects.”

And it can be challenging. I have lost count of how many times I have said to my youngest boy during ‘Isolation’, “Can you stop throwing the ball/cushions/your hat (insert any object) inside?” only to then hear my mum’s voice echoing the same request to me when I was inside as a schoolboy.

So…we as a staff are very conscious of the balance between sitting listening to a screen, and needing to move. During our first days of term, more guidance and instruction was needed than usual, but we are aware of the need to ask the boys to go and get a drink, go for a walk, or move, during a session, just as we ask that parents be aware that the boys might need to lie on the floor, wriggle, stand, walk around or bounce a ball, while listening or doing.

 

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